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Ask Dr. Bruce Your Own Question
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18535
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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I have 2 dogs an 9 yr old Doberman and a 5 yr old german

Customer Question

hello I have 2 dogs an 9 yr old Doberman and a 5 yr old german wirehair both dogs have lived togeather all there lives as best friends no aggeresiveness at all on Monday the wirehair attacked the Doberman then again on wendsday very badly we took her to the vet for surgry but they couldn't get her stable enough to operate then they found out she was full of canser!!! could that be why the other dog attacked her??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

Hi. Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** and I've been a veterinarian for 15 years. I'm sorry to hear about this situation with the cancer. I'm going to be honest here and say that the cancer most likely wasn't the absolute reason for the fights / attacks to happen. It shouldn't be a situation where the Doberman was smelling something due to the cancer to set this off. But, could the cancer have been causing discomfort for the wirehair which made it easier for her to be set off and to be involved in a fight? When cancer is present in some situations, it can cause the affected pet to have a behavioral change that may make it more uncomfortable and easier to set off. I've seen lots of cases at my ER where resident dogs have been together for numerous years and then for no good reason fights start up. In these situations, I always question what in the environment may be causing them. Food and toys can be a huge factor. Sometimes there are environmental stressors like noise or smells outside that are setting them off.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
dear dr bruce it was the Doberman with the canser and the wierharir that attacked could she have senced the canser and was trying to weed out the weak like wild animals do??
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry I got that backwards. I was going to say it was extremely rare for a 5 year old wirehair to have that aggressive of a cancer situation. More than likely the wirehair wasn't sensing a weakness in the doberman and this caused her to have this attack. Maybe the Doberman was getting less active and less able to get out of the wirehair's way and this set up a fight. I don't think it was her knowing the other was sick and attacking to get out the weak.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
do u think getting the wirehair spade would lesson the aggersiveness which she never before showed
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

I would be in favor of having her spayed as it may help with possible future aggression. Getting her spayed would eliminate the chance of a pyometra (infection in her uterus) at a point down the road after a heat cycle. It also eliminates the chance of unwanted pregnancies and the possibility of complications there.